Protestors of the new Mosel bridge say the results of a new traffic study show the government construction project is obsolete.
At a rally in Berlin on 11 April, the Pro-Mosel group, which opposes the project, will disclose the findings of the study – which they claim is the first in many years, and supports their cause.
The plan, designed over 40 years ago to link American military bases, forges a major road across the top of some of the world’s top Riesling vineyards and threatens their water supply.
Its current rationale is to speed traffic between Frankfurt and various European ports.
However the new study indicates that far from saving journey times, the road will increase them.
‘As far as we know, this is the only research undertaken in well over a decade, and a lot has happened since then,’ said Sarah Washington, a resident who has galvanised attention to the controversial project.
‘Not only that, an official traffic report from 1996 was negative about the need for the road. Then a second one was commissioned in 1998 – and turned out to be positive.’
Winemakers including Dr. Katharina Prüm, Ernie Loosen and Markus Molitor, writers Hugh Johnson and Jancis Robinson and national politicians are expected to attend the Berlin meeting to voice their protest and discuss the findings of the new study.
‘This is the first time our protest has attracted major German media like Die Welt and Der Spiegel,’ said Washington.
‘To date we have had a great deal of international coverage, but not much local interest.’
While construction of the approach roads has already started, Pro-Mosel hopes that the media attention will help stop additional work, or at least divert the road away from the vineyards.
Bordeaux 2009: All the coverage
Written by Maggie Rosen